Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Latest news
Main » Trump travels to Bethlehem for talks with Palestinian president

Trump travels to Bethlehem for talks with Palestinian president

23 May 2017

Earlier, on his fourth and final day in the Middle East, his motorcade crossed through the barrier surrounding biblical Bethlehem for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where he pressed for progress on the dormant peace process.

Trump is the first sitting us president to visit the Western wall, yet the administration remains unclear on whether it believes the wall is part of Israel.

President Donald Trump in the major address of his visit to Israel called for a coalition of nations to fight against extremism and insisted that both Israel and the Palestinians are ready for peace.

"President Trump, working with you, I believe we can advance a global peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors as well as the Palestinians", Netanyahu said.

That's not to say that Netanyahu and Abbas, both wary of being pegged as the unwilling party, aren't projecting an eagerness to jumpstart peace talks with a new president.

After the first leg of his trip in Saudi Arabia, President Trump seems to hope that Sunni Arab countries might be part of any solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump was joined by first lady Melania Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump.

More news: Daniel Sturridge sends message to Liverpool fans about Jurgen Klopp

"Hey, folks", Trump said.

Trump visited the wall as part of his first trip overseas as president, which includes stops at important sites for Christians, Muslims and Jews.

Tam, I want to ask you about - go back to the Saudi Arabia portion of this trip, because it was clear that the president was going out of his way to avoid using a term that we heard frequently from him on the campaign trail, radical Islamic terrorism.

"It is something that I think is, frankly, maybe, not as hard as people have thought over the years", Trump said last month during a meeting with Abbas.

Security was tight for Trump's journey to Bethlehem, a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem but located across Israel's separation wall. It could be an awkward moment for White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who in April was the target of a stinging statement from Yad Vashem over his controversial comparison between Adolf Hitler and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a press briefing.

Still, Trump earned warm reception from Israel Museum guests and from Netanyahu, who rose with applause when Trump said he "will always stand with Israel".

In recent times every American president also brings with him new hopes and fears for Israelis and Palestinians. Israel considers Jerusalem as its capital, although the global community does not recognize it as such and foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv. US officials declined a request for Netanyahu to accompany Trump at the Western Wall.

More news: Miley Cyrus gives emotional performance of 'Malibu' at Billboard Music Awards

Former US President Barack Obama had also visited the holy site in 2008, however, he was not president at that time.

The White House has played down expectations.

A group of six Christian Mexicans hoping to see the church discussed ways to get out of the Old City with Israeli police, after being told they could not visit.

The only credible ideas still require the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state alongside Israel.

In effect, it would offer Israel recognition by the Arab world and the "normalization" of relations in exchange for a full withdrawal from the territory Israel has occupied since the June 1967 Middle East war, including East Jerusalem.

Trump placed a note in the ancient stones of Jerusalem's Western Wall.

More news: Texas advances school transgender bathroom law